What is defense waste?

Defense waste is nuclear waste that is derived from defense and nuclear weapon programs. Due to the military nature of defense waste and inaccurate or classified data on weapons programs, the actual amount of total international defense waste is unknown. The countries with the largest known amounts of defense waste are China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. [citation]

Strong acids and special reactors produced specifically for the weapons program were often used to extract plutonium for weapons. The process of extracting plutonium left behind liquid hazardous chemicals and radioactive waste. The majority of high level waste generated by defense programs are stored in liquid form. 

CNN photo of Hanford vitrification plant in Washington state.

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